Over 250 people have joined a class action lawsuit alleging that they were treated unfairly by Google due to their age.
The Business Journals reports that 269 people have joined a class-action lawsuit against Google claiming that the Silicon Valley tech company discriminated against them in the workplace based on their age. The lawsuit began in 2015 with plaintiff Robert Heath and was officially certified as a class-action lawsuit in 2016 once others came forward with similar complaints. Details of the lawsuit were recently revealed by U.S. District Court Judge Howard Lloyd.
Cheryl Fillekes joined Robert Heath in the case against Google in 2015 claiming that Google did not hire her for an engineering position which she was qualified for because of her age. Fillekes claimed that while being interviewed at Google, a recruiter asked her to put her graduation year on her resume so that Google could gain an understanding of how old she was. Fillekes believes this request violated the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act and has joined Heath’s lawsuit.
U.S. District Court Judge Beth Labson Freeman ruled in October of 2016 that other software engineers could join the lawsuit, with many other software engineers reporting similar treatment by the company. Google spokesperson Ty Sheppard told The Business Journals, “We believe the allegations here are without merit and will continue to defend our position vigorously. We have strong policies against discrimination on any unlawful basis, including age.”
Judge Freeman reportedly responded to Google’s statement by saying, “Having such a policy does not necessarily shield a company from a discrimination suit, particularly in light of the evidence and allegations presented here … today, most, if not all, companies are well versed in anti-discrimination and make great efforts to ensure their written policies comply with anti-discrimination law.”
Many Silicon Valley tech workers are quite young, with Huffington Post reporting that the average age of workers in Silicon Valley is approximately 29 years old. Google has a history of being accused of age discrimination and was sued in 2004, ultimately settling out of court for an undisclosed amount of money.
The full class-action lawsuit court filing against Google can be seen below: